Wes Hickman (202) 224-5972 or Kevin Bishop (864) 250-1417
- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made this statement on the Senate amendment offered by U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Mississippi) to strip the arbitrary Iraq withdrawal deadline from the emergency war supplemental. Graham is a co-sponsor of the Cochran amendment.
"A date certain for withdrawal dooms any chance of winning in Iraq. It is also a vote of no-confidence in General Petraeus, his new strategy, and our troops' ability to carry out the mission. Congress should not define how long our enemy has to hang on to win.
"As for our troops, those who are left to serve waiting for the withdrawal day to come will be risking their lives without purpose. It is an untenable position to put them in.
"Timelines for withdrawal are a death blow to our chances of success in Iraq. They freeze the political and economic reconciliation among Iraqis. They are a death sentence for Iraqi moderates trying to bring peace and stability to their country. If we leave, under these circumstances, Baghdad will be a blood bath.
"Timelines for withdrawal are a political act for the political moment. I hope Congress strips them from the legislation."
: The Cochran amendment was defeated in the Senate by a vote of 48-50.